Thursday, March 08, 2012

Commandeered by a Shawl

February was swallowed whole by a sweet, Estonian Shawl. To look at it, one would never guess the depths to which it beguiled me -- held me under it's spell saying, "You're gonna do my pretty nupps, aren't ya?"

Nupps are Estonian for "button," I believe. They are also a knitting technique, supposedly created to make the lovely lace shawls weigh a bit more, and so fetch a higher price on the scales of knitting-for-living economy. In simple terms, a nupp is a knit stitch in which one knits 3, 5, 7 or 9 times into a single stitch; then, on the return purl row, all of those increased stitches are knit back into one. All of my nupps had 7 increases. What it creates is a charming little whorl of yarn around a single stitch. It creates a visual texture in lace knitting that actually is quite lovely. The lace itself is airy and ethereal, but the loop is solid -- not even opaque -- but placed on the airy background, it appears to float. Estonian lace knitting, arranges these loops to form designs in a kind of dot-to-dot. This shawl looked like it had Ohio Star quilt blocks floating on it.

The shawl I did, Crown Prince Square Shawl from Nancy Bush's Knitting of Estonia, was chock full of nupp-y goodness. I can say those words only because a week has elapsed since I have had to do one. A week of bliss, I must say. In my most nupp-y row, while in the throes, had 48 nupps in a single row. And, there were hundreds of rows, and thousands of stitches.

Now that it is done, I plan to enter it in the fair. I think I have to fold it and put it away till then! I have worn it several times, and each time the yarn has caught on a zipper, or I have had a child precariously perched above me, dancing with peanut butter in hand.

What a fright!

Pictures to follow, the next time we have a nice day!

1 comment:

twinsetellen said...

ooh, I can't wait to see the pictures. And if you have insights in how to execute all those nupps without crying, please share. I have a nupp-laden shawl that has been snoozing for about 10 years now that just might have a prayer of being finished if you do!